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Over Troubled Water

Strengthening the relationships between all African ancestored descendants

Thursday, June 9, 2011

W. E. B. DuBois and Encyclopedia Africana
By Robin Foster

Tribute to W.E.B. Du Bois and his work on the project, "Encyclopedia Africana," in Ghana:

Redeemtours ... W.E.B. Du Bois Center

In 1909, W.E.B. Du Bois conceived of an idea to create an encyclopedia depicting all African people as a way to overcome racism.  He met with strong opposition and betrayal in the United States.  See W.E.B. DuBois and the Making of the Encyclopedia Africana, 1909-1963.

After many years, he was invited to Ghana and was provided with funding for the project in 1961.  He did not live to see his project completed, but he is greatly revered by the people of Ghana. He is buried there and his home was made into a museum.
W.E.B. DuBois Mausoleum. Submitted by Nethanel Nasi.

What difference would there have been in the lives of African Americans had DuBois been able to publish his encyclopedia in America?  How would our relationships with those on the African continent been different today? Are we able today to restore the history that has been lost and strengthen relationships after so long?

You may be surprised to learn as you follow along that the children of the Diaspora have not been forgotten by those on the African continent.

More Resources:

You will discover more about W.E.B. Dubois from the following video. It seems Dr. Henry Louis Gates' had a great uncle who knew him.  I do own Encarta Africana, which Gates discusses.  It is beautifully done. I will share with you, however, the fact their are those who do not believe the encyclopedia is accurate enough.  I cannot provide an opinion on this.

The Encyclopedia Africana
W.E.B. Du Bois had long advocated and pursued an encyclopedia project. In his Autobiography he wrote:

I had planned an "Encyclopedia Africana" in 1909 but my leaving Atlanta for New York postponed this project and the World War prevented its renewal. In 1934 I was chosen to act as editor-in-chief of a new project of the Phelps-Stokes Fund to prepare and publish an Encyclopedia of the Negro. I spent nearly ten years of intermittent effort on this project and secured cooperation from many scholars, white and black, in America, Europe and Africa. But the necessary funds could not be secured. Perhaps again it was too soon to expect large aid for so ambitious a project directed by Negroes and built mainly on Negro scholar­ship. Nevertheless, a preliminary volume sum­marizing this effort was published in 1945. (p.302)
In 1961 Du Bois accepted President Nkrumah's invitation to move to Ghana and work on the Encyclopedia Africana project. The project was underway, but far from being completed by the time of Du Bois's death in 1963. See:  WebDubois.org

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With the blessings of technology, all African ancestored descendants can develop an online haven where healing can take place. Let's recite and relish in our history. Let's come together to identify the principles that help us to enjoy freedom and happiness. Hopefully, "Over Troubled Water" will be the beginning of that for you. We welcome contributors who will share their history and perspectives that we may all learn and benefit.
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"I believe that all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying in time and opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and the possibility of infinite development." --W.E.B. Dubois
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The village is coming together! We are from many diverse groups from around the world. We invite you to use Over Trouble Water as an avenue that will spark much needed dialog. This dialog can lead to great enlightenment and healing. Every effort will be made to supplement using historical resources for further study, however, opinions or views expressed in articles reflect the contributor's life experiences and are the responsibility of the respective contributor. Comments should be addressed to the respective contributor.

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